KANSAS CITY, Mo.— The Kansas City Royals selected TCU left-hander Brandon Finnegan with their first-round pick in Major League Baseball’s first-year player draft Thursday night.
“I couldn’t be happier to get Brandon, a left-handed pitcher with plus stuff,” Royals director of scouting Lonnie Goldberg said. “We’re very surprised that he was there when we picked.”
Scouts are divided on whether Finnegan projects as a starter or reliever. The 5-foot-11 junior dealt with a stiff shoulder this past season, raising concerns about his durability. Finnegan led the Horned Frogs in strikeouts the last two seasons.
Finnegan’s fastball has been clocked in the upper 90s, though it tends to sit between 90 and 95 mph. He also has a curveball and slider that are both developing.
The Royals chose him with the 17th overall pick. The club also had the No. 28 pick Thursday night as compensation for losing Ervin Santana in free agency; the No. 40 pick in the competitive balance portion of the draft; and the No. 56 pick in the second round.
A 2011 graduate of Southwest High School in Fort Worth, Finnegan was selected by the Texas Rangers in the 45th round of the June Free Agent Draft that year, but opted to pitch at TCU.
The Kansas City Royals signed their first-round pick, Hunter Dozier, on Monday, then announced at a press conference he’ll begin his professional career as an Idaho Falls Chukar on opening day.
The Royals and Dozier, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound shortstop from Stephen F. Austin State University, agreed to a signing bonus of $2.2 million. The eighth overall selection in last week’s MLB Draft will report to a mini-camp at the Royals’ facility in Surprise, Ariz., today, then head to Idaho Falls to begin his career, the Kansas City Star reported.
The Kansas City Royals selected six college players and two high schoolers Friday during the second day of the MLB Draft.
The Royals started the day by picking right-handed pitcher Carter Hope from The Woodlands High School in Texas in the third round. They followed with Georgia Tech catcher Zane Evans in the fourth round and outfielder Amalani Fukofuka from James Logan High School in California in the fifth round.
But the biggest name came in the sixth round with the selection of Luke Farrell, the son of Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell.
The Kansas City Royals used their second selection Thursday to pick a flame-throwing lefty, Sean Manaea.
Manaea lit up the Cape Cod League last summer, touching 98 mph with his fastball. He entered the season projected as the No. 2 pick by ESPN’s Keith Law. But injuries dropped him to the 18th-ranked prospect by Baseball America prior to the draft.
He continued to slide Thursday to the 1st supplemental round, where the Royals selected the 6-foot-5 lefty with the 34th overall pick.
Manaea posted a 5-4 record with a 1.47 ERA and 93 strikeouts in 73 1/3 innings this spring at Indiana State. Last summer in the Cape Cod League, the top summer league in the country, he went 5-1 with a 1.22 ERA and struck out 85 in 51 2/3 innings. He earned the league’s top pitching honor and was named its top pro prospect.
The Royals have only selected one player in the 1st supplemental round since they took on the Idaho Falls Chukars as an affiliate. They sent that pick, current Los Angeles Dodgers reliever J.P. Howell, to Idaho Falls to begin his career in 2004.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals used the eighth overall pick in Thursday’s Major League Baseball Draft to select Hunter Dozier, a shortstop from Stephen F. Austin State University. And he could start his career in Idaho Falls.
J.J. Picollo, who oversees the Royals’ scouting and player development, said that Dozier will likely start at short-season Idaho Falls or Burlington, N.C., when he signs a contract.
“Our goal this first summer is to get him on the ground, get him acclimated, get him playing every day,” Picollo said. “He already has played a lot of games this year, he’s in great shape, he’s ready to play, and by the end of the summer it’ll be a good, full season for him.”
His assignment to Idaho Falls would break the Royals’ history with highly-drafted college players. The Royals haven’t assigned a first-round college pick to Idaho Falls since 2004, when they sent left-handed pitcher Matt Campbell, the Royals’ second first-round that year, to start his career as a Chukar.
The Kansas City Royals drafted a pair of players with Idaho ties Tuesday during the second day of the Major League baseball Draft.
The Royals selected Zeb Sneed, a right-handed pitcher from Northwest Nazarene and a 2009 Twin Falls High School graduate, with the fifth pick of the 11th round (343th overall). They then went back to the Twin Falls area when they selected catcher Parker Morin, a junior at Utah who attended the College of Southern Idaho for two years.
Sneed, a 6-foot-5 right-hander, fastball has been clocked as high as 97 miles per hour. But he’s struggled with command, walking 46 and striking out 61 while posting a 5.00 ERA for Northwest Nazarene this spring.